This is your Brain on Drugs (short story)
"I already feel a buzz," she heard one of them declare, "and it's barely even been a minute."
Lisa lifted her hand, preparing to knock, but her hand remained poised in front of the door as she heard the echo of the other boy's response.
"That's not a buzz. That's called breathing. This stuff makes breathing feel better. It makes everything feel better."
Aghast, Lisa stood silently and still.
For the first time, she didn't want them to hear her, though they never seemed to hear her when she wanted them to.
Suddenly the boys' worn out dormitory door seemed symbolic. How could such a barrier build up between people who used to actually enjoy each other's company?
Emersed in trepdiation, Lisa felt herself begin to break down. She considered turning up the volume on her mp3 player, then sheepishly recalled that she had intended to ask Derek & Josh to borrow a pair of headphones because hers had broken.
She had become so engrossed in their perturbing discussion, that she hardly cared about the music that she passionately listened to every day, her quotidian routine of relaxation. She wished the boys would listen to music to relax, instead of performing the slow deterioration of their bodies.
She finally came up with the courage to knock.
"Guys, open up, it's Lisa." she called to her former friends.
She recognized the familiar noises that come with guilty people trying to obscure incriminating evidence.
While her insides screamed and felt like they might combust if she made one incorrect motion, she managed to create an artificially nonchalant tone of voice.
"Guys, I'm not the freakin' RA, let me in," she exclaimed. She even added in the best giggle that she could muster while she really wanted to scream, cry, and beat the shit out of the boys to prevent drugs from gaining the satisfaction of killing them.
As the door opened, Derek greeted her by explaining, "The word RA is forbidden in this room. It freaks Josh out too much."
"Even if the RA did come in here," Lisa replied with an obnoxious enunciation on the word 'RA,' "you could always tell her that you tried to snort a powdered donut. With your GPA, she'd have no problem believing it."
"Oh, but we already went with the pixie stix excuse last week, still think she'd buy it?" Josh teased.
Derek sneezed, and blood began to stream out of his nostrils and on to his lips.
"Damn it! Do you have a tissue?" he asked Lisa as he smeared the blood onto the palm of his hand.
"Do you have a brain?" she shot back.
Acting on impulse, Lisa decided that she could give Derek a louder "buzz," and a better bloody nose. Without warning, she clenched her fist and punched him in the face. She knew he'd hear the ringing in his ears for a lot longer than he'd remembered the night that he'd kissed her & never mentioned it again.
Oh, he made her so angry sometimes. He positively infuriated her and made her shake, sweat, lose weight and skip meals out of utter nausea. Yet she continued to come back.
All at once she realized that he felt the exact same way...